Thank you, Madam President,

I would like to thank Special Representatives Laing and Souef for their presentations. I welcome the presence of the Permanent Representatives of Somalia and Djibouti at this meeting.

The stability and prosperity of the Horn of Africa depend on regional cooperation and the ability to settle disputes by peaceful means. In this respect, Switzerland is concerned by the rise in tensions following the latest controversies concerning Somaliland. Switzerland reiterates its respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Somalia and encourages the parties to continue on the path of peaceful dialogue. We also support the efforts undertaken by regional organizations in this direction. We call on all actors with influence to use it in order to find a peaceful solution.

The past year has seen Somalia reach important milestones, such as the completion of the debt relief process, accession to the East African Community and important progress concerning the constitutional review. To ensure that 2024 continues on this positive trajectory, three elements seem particularly relevant at this time:

Firstly, the offensive against Al-Shabaab remains at the forefront of security concerns, while the exit of ATMIS by the end of the year continues. By lifting the arms embargo, this Council has demonstrated its willingness to look to the future. This future, particularly as regards international support for Somalia, must be discussed now. Measures to reduce the international presence must reflect the situation on the ground. The provision of basic services and security in the newly recovered territories are essential. We call on all parties to the conflict to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law. In addition, violations must be investigated, and the alleged perpetrators prosecuted.

Secondly, we welcome democratic progress, such as the peaceful conduct of elections in Puntland, while we continue to encourage the implementation of the "one person, one vote" electoral model. In this respect, we emphasize that women's participation is not only a right, but also a fundamental pillar of sustainable peace. We firmly support their work within the National Advisory Council and stress the importance of achieving the 30% quota for women parliamentarians at all levels. The constitutional review must continue in a safe and inclusive civic space, as cooperation between citizens, federal states and the central government is the foundation of national cohesion.

Thirdly, as mentioned by the Secretary-General during the recent open debate, it must be taken into account that the threats of climate change, food insecurity and conflict are linked.

This is perfectly illustrated by the case of Somalia, where several million people have been affected by the recent rains, and almost a third of the population is suffering from hunger. To prevent the situation from deteriorating further with the onset of the rainy season, it is crucial to take early action. To this end, Switzerland supports the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which acts in advance of crises and provides vital assistance in the event of flooding. In the longer term, greater coordination at local, federal and regional level is needed to better anticipate and manage these complex crises.

Madam President,

In conclusion, I would like to congratulate UNSOM and ATMIS on the crucial role they are playing in Somalia. Switzerland will continue to support these missions, Somalia and its people in their efforts to build peace and a prosperous future.

Thank you.

Download the statement

Size / Type